Bathroom Nazism Suspected And Evident At Vancouver, Washington Elementary School
In markedly non-Washingtonian fashion, the Evergreen Education Association of Vancouver, Washington, led by Gloria Smith, has seen fit to defend when their teachers act as Youth Bathroom Nazis. As both a Washingtonian and an individual with a basic understanding of juvenile anatomy and physiology, I was disappointed to hear of it and felt to investigate further.
The supposed Nazism occurred at Mill Plain Elementary School, in Vancouver, where an unnamed third grade teacher decided to try to teach her students the worth of money by awarding her students fake moneys for items such as completed homework or kindness to another student. The money could be spent on items like pizza, little toys, or bathroom breaks. So far, this sounds like a wonderful idea; however, the teacher made the bad choice to include bathroom privileges at the steep price of $50 a trip. Sadly, two little girls in her class were down to their last funds and chose to buy other items instead of buying a bathroom break and, well, you can imagine what happened. They wet themselves in the classroom.
Needless to say, the parents of the two children were furious. One parent contacted the media and broke the story, and from there the claim as to whether or not the kids could actually pee without funds began to change. At first, the breaking articles stated that the bathroom charge was $50. Later, Union President Smith stated the children were allowed to use the bathroom in emergency situations, and were never denied the use of the restrooms. Then, Gail Spolar, district spokeswoman, claimed the money is only spent twice a year, and bathroom breaks were never denied for a lack of funds.
So, what really happened?
On one side, we have two little girls who were completely humiliated in front of their peers. Both claimed their teacher denied them the ability to go to the restroom because they had spent their remaining school bucks. We also have district admittance that the bathroom breaks cost students $50 of school bucks. On the other hand, we have articles that come in rapid succession from the school district afterward, that later state the teacher stated she never denied the little girls’ requests, and that the bathroom breaks were never contingent on funds. Again, I am dubious.
I am dubious of the districts’ story for several reasons. First, more than one source states that bathroom breaks cost $50. If I am kid, and I am told that I can go to the bathroom without having to have money in my account, I am never ever going to spend money on those breaks. I am going to load up on all the stupid crap I can buy. I am going to buy pizza, toys, and popcorn, and then after I am broke, I will say I have to pee. Second, if kids do not need the $50 to pee, why is it an item for purchase at all? Third, the school backpedaled. Jim Carroll Band-loving comment poster “ThoseAreThePeopleWhoDied” wrote the following:
"The investigation concluded that children were never denied bathroom breaks if they needed one, regardless if they had sufficient “dollars” in their account – this was a decision made to use an already implemented money management learning system — rather than to introduce another method of dispensing discretionary passes."
What in the name of George Orwell was the "already implemented money management learning system" the District describes and how does it relate to the use of bathrooms?....sounds a lot like a toll to me.
To further obfuscate the truth, the district betrayed itself once more in stating that “everyone had enough money to pay for a bathroom trip.”
Let us all get this straight: There is a charge to use the bathroom. There is not a charge to use the bathroom. Children do not have to use money to use the bathroom. Everyone had enough money to use the bathroom. If you are confused, you are not alone. I read the material a few times and still do not understand what I read. I was ready to make a damned timeline, but then I remembered that I had forgotten what it was like to be a child, and that the timeline would not be necessary to work through the clashing reports. It does not matter if the children were allowed to use the restroom or not, for in a child’s mind, a teacher who says “no” is not to be denied, and teachers are backed by their union. And it is no coincidence that two children wet themselves on the same day, claiming the same denial.
Nor is it acceptable how the girls were treated after they wet themselves. One student is a size ten, and she was given size seven shorts to wear for the rest of the day. Her mother said the girl was more than humiliated, because she was teased by boys in her class about the shorts. This action on part of the school bothers me. We read about students who are chastised for wearing tight clothing, but in this instance the school itself gave the student shorts three sizes too small for her frame and sent her back into the school population. I remember being in third grade. Some of us already had developed boobs, believe it or not. Boys teased us about them, too. By the time I was in fourth grade, I could expect that my bra-strap would be snapped multiple times a week by a male student; this was the price for being a premature brick shithouse, and it did not matter that I felt self-conscious about it. If the school did not have clothing that could fit her, why was she not allowed to sit in the nurse’s office until someone arrived with clothes that did fit? My gut instinct is that she was afraid to stand up to the people in charge of her universe at that time, to say, “I am not going to back to class in these shorts, because they are too tight.”
When one considers the entirety of the affair—the teacher, the Union representative, and the district’s response of not punishing the teacher in the least—one should be disappointed that these people claim to have educations in child psychology, development, and the basic tenets of child anatomy. A child has a bladder that is one-half the size of an adult’s bladder. Her abilities to resist temptation or make decision in the rashness of a moment will not be fully developed until she is around 25 years old, either, based on brain scans of the development of the human cerebral cortex. Of course she’s going to buy the popcorn instead of pay for a bathroom break that is supposedly free, as claimed by the school district: the popcorn is here, now, and the need to pee is five whole minutes off. (That's a lifetime.) Our country’s adults have more credit card debt at this time in history than ever before. Clearly we are a nation of instant gratification … but we are going to expect our third graders to withhold gratification better than we have. Horse shit.
It is always a fail for a school district when it expects better behavior from the students than from the educated employees, when it punishes the child with humiliation but lets the adult, who should know better, go unpunished for making her own bad decision. And then there’s the lying. No, I do not believe these two girls were not refused bathroom privileges. As Poopreporters, we have read too many school bathroom horror stories, received too many emails from students in this country who were told “no,” to believe that their tandem pants-wetting was a coincidence. We have even seen this type of issue before in Texas, in 2012.
Dick move, people. Dick move.